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Without wishing to become a bore on the subject I want to continue with the theme of my last post and look further at the options available to non-drinkers in pubs.When reasons such as work restraints, potential adverse reactions with medication or perhaps when one has to drive to the pub, whether as "named driver" or just because there is no other way of getting there, not drinking alcohol in a pub can be a really frustrating experience.

Often when you're in this position Sod's law will apply and not only will the beer selection be something to die for, but the quality of said selection will also be second to none. You can just imagine your friends telling you how good the beers are, and "isn't it a shame you're unable to sample them yourself!". Small matter, we all have our crosses to bear from time to time, and hopefully on another occasion the tables will be reversed and you can get your own back. When you are in this position though the question of "what to drink?" once again arises.

Normally I would have a pint of an average strength beer (say around 4.0%), before switching to something non-alcoholic. This is always a difficult decision as, ever since my mid-teens, when I began to acquire a taste for beer, I've not been a huge fan of soft drinks. Drinks such as lemonade, Colas etc not only just don't do it for me taste-wise, but because they're so packed full of sugar I tend to avoid them for health reasons as well. Colas are even worse than lemonade as they're highly acidic in nature and likely to quite rapidly lead to the rotting of one's teeth. So-called "diet" versions are little better, being packed full of artificial sweeteners and additives, and still with the tooth-decay risk, especially in the case of "Diet Colas". Fruit juices provide a better option, but they once again are full of sugar, albeit in a more natural form. I once drank a pint of pure orange juice and ended up feeling thirstier than when I started!

Often it's down to good old mineral water, but again there's only so much one can drink of this and also bottled water is expensive, particularly in pubs. I appreciate pubs have to make a living, but the mark up on soft-drinks in licensed premises is nothing sort of scandalous and does nothing to encourage non-drinkers to venture along to their local hostelry. For people in my current position, visits to the pub can therefore be not only a frustrating experience, but also an expensive one as well!